Tiny Botanicals

I have been really enjoying drawing tiny botanicals in little ‘windows’. So, I combined drawing with watercolor practice.

The image on the left involved me using a pencil to draw the boxes and their contents, then watercoloring. For some, I tried painting the image in sections and with layers of colour. I really wasn’t happy with the results. I painted the rest of the boxes with washes of watercolour and then either inked or re-drew the designs in pencil. I felt happier with these.

I used Daler-Rowney Smooth watercolour paper and I’ve been struggling to get the paper to stay wet enough for long enough to mix colours wet in wet. Not even on these tiny little windows. It was becoming very frustrating.

A couple of days ago, I’d ordered a pack of 100% cotton rag paper and it arrived early evening. I used a small piece of it for the illustration on the right.

I started by painting rectangles of colour on the paper. I used a waterbrush rather than a paintbrush for this. I used the same kind of transparency of watercolour for each as I did for the illustration on the left. Oh my gosh, did the colours shine and show up so much more vibrantly! Not only that, it was so easy to mix colours, wet in wet. The cotton rag paper is an absolute joy to work with!

I was beginning to get frustrated with myself and watercolors once again. This has been a common feature of my love-hate affair with them over many years. This paper may change that totally.

This morning, after letting the paper dry, I drew tiny botanicals in each window. I used, as in the image on the left, a 005 Sakura Pigma Micron pen to draw with. I was worried it would struggle with the paper’s rough texture. The lines aren’t as uniform as they’d be on, say, smooth Bristol board. I just went with the rougher nature of the lines and was surprised at how much I enjoyed them. They meant I loosened up my drawing style a little.

I really enjoyed creating these little artworks (the one on the left is approx. 5″ x 5″, the on on the right 4″ x 4.75″). There is something I find really satisfying about creating teeny tiny drawings, in the same way I find drawing intricate designs makes something inside me smile.

What I do want to try later on today is adding some more colour to some of the design elements on both drawings using both watercolours and watercolour pencils or inktense pencils. On second thoughts, I think I’ll do some samples to experiment on, annotate and add to my journal, just in case I don’t like what transpires.

Before I do any of that, I woke with a headache. It’s beginning to shift, but as it lifts it’s leaving me feeling really tired.

6 thoughts on “Tiny Botanicals

  1. Beautiful! I’m glad you got some better paper (is it paper?) and made some progress. I’m trying to dye some rag with Distress Ink but not getting the look I wanted. Maybe it will look better in the morning. Have also made tea dye paper for making more journal pockets. ~M~

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    1. It is paper! And it is different to cellulose paper in the way it behaves. The colours are so much more vibrant on it too.
      Distress Ink is tricky isn’t it. Fingers crossed it’ll look better in the morning – taking a break can freshen the eyes and mind, and though it may not be what you wanted it will be lovely, different, but lovely!
      I’ve not tea-dyed paper. I must admit, I much prefer using Distress Inks to colour paper. I like the colour palette 🙂
      Oh, and I’m glad you like the teeny tiny drawings 🙂 x

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      1. My little project looks better this morning thank goodness! I like distress ink but I worry that it needs to be “fixed” for some projects. One drop of water could make a big difference! I have some acrylic wax to apply over the top and that’s brilliant. I’ve got some archival ink on order for things I’m making as gifts. Have you tried the oxides?

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      2. Oh I’m so glad it looks better! If I need it not to get wet once I’ve finished, I use a think layer of microglaze on distress ink on papers. it works really well. I have a full set of the oxides, well apart from any new ones released this year. I love them for different reasons – they’re much more intense in colour, which is great for the paler colours. They layer brilliantly too, but in a different way. The way the react with water is lovely, not just for distressing, but a very fine mist makes them feel all soft and velvety without fully activating the ‘bleaching’ effect.
        They also blend really smoothly on paper. They stamp quite well too.
        I don’t really stamp or stencil these days – I prefer to do my own patterning, even if it takes me longer!
        Have you seen the Lavinia Stamps youtube videos where they use alcohol inks on yupo paper and the alcohol lift ink to then print on paper from it? That’s something I may try in the future, when I’ve had a major destash and tidy up to make space for stuff! I really do need to move my crafting space back downstairs…but I need to declutter the backroom, seriously.

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      3. I’ve had a tidy up today but it doesn’t really show! I need to watch some YouTube to get some new techniques so I will look for Lavinia stamps. I do use acrylic wax on some of my projects, which protects and gives it a lovely finish. I just have to keep touching it 🤣

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